Facebook has unveiled its new augmented reality interface, based on technology developed by CTRL-Labs, the startup it acquired in 2019. A new Facebook video shows wristbands that use EMG (electromyography) to turn subtle neural signals into actions.
These include actions like typing, swiping, playing, or even an archery simulator. The wristbands that control all of this also feature haptic feedback, allowing users to ‘feel’ their actions, which are now more responsive than simple manual tracking. Look the following video
A detailed blog post from Facebook Reality Labs offered more information on the new bracelets. Bands can track basic ‘clicks’ that essentially touch the thumb and forefinger together. The bracelet will track your nerve signals through your arms, rather than a visual sensor.
Although the initial technology was developed for all these years by CTRL-Labs, Facebook wants to take the possibilities of EMG wristbands to the next level by integrating them with day-to-day computing.
Facebook said in the post that it has been implementing various prototypes that provide various types of haptic feedback. One of them is the ‘Bellowband’, with eight air bellows around each wrist, which inflate / deflate to produce different sensations. The ‘Tasbi’, on the other hand, uses vibratory actuators and a pressure mechanism to transmit signals to it.
Without reading your mind
Mark Zuckerberg recently criticized neural implants, suggesting that people shouldn’t have to open their heads (to place a neural transmitter) to use virtual or augmented reality. So Facebook’s tech will use devices like the EMG band to collect data from your arms in a much less intrusive way, unlike Elon Musk’s Neuralink.
However, gangs will continue to collect a lot of data. While Facebook has a neuroethics program to examine the privacy, security, and safety implications of such technology, people will still have to trust that a lot of data is being collected based on how your body moves.